Tswana Traditional Food

Tswana traditional food is enjoyed by both natives and visitors alike. The Tswana region is home to many savoury dishes that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

People love these meals so much that they often search for the recipes online long after leaving the region.

It is also important that you get to watch carefully people who cook each of the meals well and if you have no access to such persons, then there are DIY videos on YouTube that would help you replicate any of these superb Southern African dishes.

tswana traditional food

The Most Popular Tswana Traditional Food

The food of the Tswana tribe is not only popular for its taste, but also for its nutritional value. Bogobe is a type of porridge made from fermented milk and mealie-meal that is commonly eaten by the Tswana people. You can read about it further on in this article.

The following are some of the best Tswana traditional foods, along with pictures. You can also try to make these dishes by using the recipes and cooking instructions below.


This is a traditional Botswanan dish made of beef or goat meat, is named depending on what part of the country you are in. In the north it is called Seswaa, while in the south and western South Africa it is referred to as loswao.

The dish is prepared using leftover cuts or tough cuts of meat, such as legs, neck and back. It is normally made for special occasions such as funerals, weddings and national events..

The meat is boiled until tender in a pot, with “just enough salt”,and pounded. It is often served with pap (maize meal), setampa (samp, ground corn) and ormabele (sorghum).

Cooking Seswaa


Bogobe, also known as porridge, is a delicious Tswana traditional food. It originates from Botswana and can be cooked in different ways to create various other types of meals.


Mogodu, otherwise known as tripe or usu, is a traditional Zulu dish that has become popular among the Tswana people. It contains fairly few ingredients but takes a long time to cook.


Translated to English, Vetkoek means “fat cake”. This baked bread can either be eaten with savory dishes like minced meat or chicken stew, or as a sweet snack with honey, jam, or syrup. Whichever way you choose to eat it,vetkoek is usually served as a side dish.

vetkoek with mince
Vetkoek with Mince


Starch dishes are not a traditional funeral food in Botswana, but this meal of sorghum, beans, and vegetables is an exception.


This Tswana traditional food is a favorite breakfast dish that is hearty and filling. Phaphatha is a large, flattened dumpling that typically contains flour and yeast.

Because it doesn’t require water to cook, it is often fried in a pan. Since it is so big, this bread dish is usually served with other entrees, though It can be eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.


There are many different kinds of morogo, all with unique flavors. Morogo is also simple to spot and identify. Morogo, also referred to as African spinach, is a term for three different dark leafy greens eaten throughout Southern Africa. It’s considered a traditional Tswana dish and an essential part of the diet in rural areas.

Delicious Morogo


Phaletshe, also called pap, is a maize meal. You can tell how strong someone’s arm is in Botswana by the consistency of their phaletshe!


The Tswana people throughout Southern Africa enjoy Mogatla, a stew made from oxtail. This dish may take some time to make, but it is worth the wait. Once you add in the dumplings called matlebekwane, you will have a delicious meal.

Chicken Groundnut Stew

The Botswana chicken groundnut stew is one of the Tswana people’s traditional foods that will make you feel fabulous after eating it. It pairs well with rice.

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